In his meditations on the Oblate Rule of Life, Eugene reflected on how the Missionaries had responded to a ravaged Church, fifteen years earlier. Through their ministry they hoped to heal and make up for the vacuum left by the destruction of the religious orders.
The more I go on, the more I am confounded, astonished, ravished by our lofty destiny. My God, give us the grace to understand the meaning of this third article the end of the Society, that one has all too often read without thinking: The end of this Society is also to make up for, insofar as possible, the many institutions that have disappeared since the revolution in France (art. 3).
Run through all the religious Orders that the Revolution destroyed in France. Remember the various ministries they exercised, virtues they practiced, some in the secrecy of God’s house, in contemplation and prayer, others in service of neighbor through every work of the most sustained zeal, and draw your own conclusions from this article 3 and its unfolding of such an important second end of our institute.
Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163
Two centuries later, the Church experiences many wounds and vacuums. What is my response to Saint Eugene’s invitation?